McDonald's All-Americans and Final Fours

Jalen Rose recently made comments that Juwan Howard should be the next coach in part because he will recruit McDonald’s All-Americans. While I am more than okay with Howard as the next coach, I took this comment as kind of slight on John Beilein. It also got me thinking - does signing McDonald’s All Americans really translate to Final Fours? (Given this is the measuring stick by which most define success in college basketball). Based on some quick searches, here are the MCD AA players in the one and done era 2006 - 2018 that have played in Final Fours. It’s also worth mentioning that 2014 was the only year in this timeframe in which the champion (UCONN) did not have a MCD AA player on their roster.

2018: None

2017: None


Tony Bradley – UNC – 2017

Zach Collins – Gonzaga – 2017

Kyle Guy – Virginia – 2019 (Champ)


Jalen Brunson – Villanova – 2016 (Champ), 2018 (Champ)

PJ Dozier – South Carolina – 2017


Grayson Allen – Duke – 2015 (Champ)

Joel Berry – UNC – 2016, 2017 (Champ)

Devin Booker – Kentucky – 2015

Justin Jackson – UNC – 2016, 2017 (Champ)

Tyus Jones – Duke – 2015 (Champ)

Trey Lyles – Kentucky – 2015

Jahlil Okafor – Duke – 2015 (Champ)

Theo Pinson – UNC – 2016, 2017 (Champ)

Karl-Anthony Towns – Kentucky – 2015

Tyler Ulis – Kentucky – 2015

Justise Winslow – Duke – 2015 (Champ)


Aaron Harrison – Kentucky – 2014, 2015

Andrew Harrison – Kentucky – 2014, 2015

Isiah Hicks – UNC – 2016, 2017 (Champ)

Kasey Hill – Florida – 2014

Dakari Johnson – Kentucky – 2014, 2015

Matt Jones – Duke – 2015 (Champ)

Marcus Lee – Kentucky – 2014, 2015

Kennedy Meeks – UNC – 2016, 2017 (Champ)

Chris Walker – Florida – 2014

James Young – Kentucky – 2014


DaJuan Coleman – Syracuse – 2013

Marcus Paige – UNC – 2016

Alex Poythress – Kentucky – 2014, 2015

Rasheed Sulaimon – Duke – 2015 (Champ) * Dismissed from team *


Chane Behanan – Louisville – 2012, 2013 (Champ)

Wayne Blackshear – Louisville – 2012, 2013 (Champ)

Michael Carter-Williams – Syracuse – 2013

Rakeem Christmas – Syracuse – 2013

Quinn Cook – Duke – 2015 (Champ)

Anthony Davis – Kentucky – 2012 (Champ)

Branden Dawson – Michigan State – 2015

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – Kentucky – 2012 (Champ)

Marshall Plumlee – Duke – 2015 (Champ)

Marquis Teague – Kentucky – 2012 (Champ)

Kyle Wiltjer – Kentucky – 2012 (Champ)


Terrence Jones – Kentucky – 2011, 2012 (Champ)

Brandon Knight – Kentucky – 2011

Doron Lamb – Kentucky – 2011, 2012 (Champ)

Jared Sullinger – Ohio State – 2012

DeShaun Thomas – Ohio State – 2012

Patric Young – Florida – 2014


Ryan Kelly – Duke – 2010 (Champ)

Alex Oriakhi – UCONN – 2011 (Champ)

Mason Plumlee – Duke – 2010 (Champ)

Peyton Siva – Louisville – 2012, 2013 (Champ)


William Buford – Ohio State – 2012

Ed Davis – UNC – 2009 (Champ)

Larry Drew – UNC – 2009 (Champ)

Kemba Walker – UCONN – 2009, 2011 (Champ)

Tyler Zeller – UNC – 2009 (Champ)


Cole Aldrich – Kansas - 2008 (Champ)

Kevin Love – UCLA - 2008

Derrick Rose – Memphis – 2008

Kyle Singler – Duke – 2010 (Champ)

Nolan Smith – Duke – 2010 (Champ)

Corey Stokes – Villanova – 2009


Darrell Arthur – Kansas – 2008 (Champ)

Sherron Collins – Kansas – 2008 (Champ)

Mike Conley – Ohio State – 2007

Greg Oden – Ohio State – 2007

Daequan Cook – Ohio State – 2007

Wayne Ellington – UNC – 2008, 2009 (Champ)

James Keefe – UCLA – 2007, 2008

Ty Lawson – UNC – 2008, 2009 (Champ)

Vernon Macklin – Georgetown – 2007

Scottie Reynolds – Villanova – 2009

Jon Scheyer – Duke – 2010 (Champ)

Lance Thomas – Duke – 2010 (Champ)


Thanks for collecting this info. On a similar note, a week or so ago I made a post in a random thread about five stars and championships, but I figure it’s worth separating in this topic. Virginia this past season became the first team in the 247 database era (2002-present) to win a championship without a five star recruit on the roster.

Kinda fits into a possible narrative to go along with your stuff that recruiting the top talents might not be quite as vital as it was a couple years ago. I don’t know, it could definitely be looked at from either side. The drop off in the last 3 or 4 seasons that you showed us definitely something to note.

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Yeah my first thought was that having McDonald’s AA was not really that important, especially with so many of them being one year rentals. But after looking at it closer there is a lot of data to suggest needing these elite high school players. The past three classes of MCD AA have not put as many in the FF, but those numbers could have flipped significantly this year if Duke, UNC, or Kentucky would have advanced to the FF. It’s interesting to look at for sure. I think the key is to land elite players that may stick around for more than just one year. The only one and done factory champions in this era so far are Kentucky 2012 and Duke 2015.

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Thanks Guys, I too was taken back by Rose’s comments. I’m not sure signing MAC AA’s leads to direct success in the NCAA. More importantly young men need to understand that this is just the beginning of hard work and opportunity. This week I posted an article on the success rate of MAC AA’s entering the NBA…42% I Believe. Seems like UM has done very well getting guys into the league.

Thanks for your effort.


That’s another thing that was interesting looking back at these lists of players. So many of them have not had sustained success in the NBA. There were several names I had to research a bit as I had forgotten where they had played in college. For every Kevin Durant there is a James Keefe…

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Jalen is probably thinking about how a lot of the top players like to recruit each other. If Juwan can attract McD’s, he may sign a monster class or two. I’m sure they’d both love to see that at Michigan again.


Great posts.

How many of the McD’s were/are getting paid by shoe companies, agents ?

I’m disappointed in Jalen’s comments.


I agree on being disappointed in Jalen’s comments. I don’t think he fully appreciates the job Beilein did at Michigan and how he did it. The program was a joke in the years between Fisher and Beilein. He brought it back to prominence while not playing with the same deck of cards as most of the other big schools. After Ed Martin they were not going to operate in muddy recruiting waters and like it or not, a lot of MCD AA type players come to your school with a price tag attached. That was and still is reality. Beilein was one of a kind and we were damn lucky to have him, even without any MCD AA players.


I don’t think Jalen was slighting JB at all. He’s been very supportive of M basketball from his public pulpit. Jalen is going to promote his longtime teammate and friend for the job. He thinks Juwan would be a great recruiter and get Michigan back to being a destination for top recruits. JB did things one way. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Doubt anyone would replicate JB’s success and it’s not like he was recruiting chopped liver.


I’d agree with this. Watch the interview starting at 3:45.

I feel like he was quoted without proper context.

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I had previously watched the whole interview and don’t have issue with most of what Jalen says, and he does pay Beilein complements, but I think the question is do we HAVE to recruit McDonald’s AA kids, do we NEED to recruit Chicago, which is a known recruiting turf of guys like Dollar Bill Self? Based on the info I posted above it seems like yes is the answer if you don’t have someone like Beilein to rise above the muck of recruiting five stars. I just don’t know how I feel about the suggestion. It seems like an endorsement to join the cesspool. Like what Beilein was doing wasn’t good enough. But I certainly respect others opinions on the matter and I remain a fan of Jalen Rose for sure.

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It seems to me that it sure would be nice to have McDonald’s All-Americans, but if you want to compete for championships you need a good amount of four-year system players as well.

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I haven’t dug into the comments, but does Jalen realize that the one and done rule is just about dead? How many McDAAs won’t jump directly to the pro ranks?

Also, FWIW, there’s a distinction between recruiting top players and landing top players. OK, enough about Jalen from me.

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But they had a McDonald all american.

The rule change won’t happen before 2022. The 20 and 21 classes are crucial for Juwan to establish his chops as a recruiter. If history is our guide, a significant minority of McD AAs will go straight to the NBA.

I think that change would put more pressure on Michigan’s recruiting. Duke, UK, et al will be targeting more recruits that Michigan might be able to sign.

It seems like, to a large degree, the # of McD AA’s in the final fours is basically a question of “did Duke or Kentucky make it?”